LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten finalists have been selected for the 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year awards. The winners will be announced on May 30, following the conclusion of the 2019 season.
The finalists represent 10 different institutions and conferences. It marks the fifth straight season a student-athlete from North Georgia has been named to the list and the third time for NightHawk pitcher Kylee Smith, the 2018 recipient of this award.
The other two hurlers on the list, Grand Valley State’s Allison Lipovsky and Concordia Irvine’s Callie Nunes are repeat finalists. Truman State’s Christa Reisinger makes her second appearance, first earning the status in 2017 as a sophomore.
Representing their programs for the first time are Western Washington’s Emily Benson, Central Oklahoma’s JoBi Heath, Kutztown’s Sara Keeny, Trevecca Nazarene’s MaKray Odom and LIU Post’s Julia Seader. Colorado Mesa’s AnnMarie Torres is the third different Maverick to be a finalist.
In addition to being their program’s first-time representative, Benson (Great Northwest Athletic Conference), Heath (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association), Keeny (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) and Odom (Great Midwest Athletic Conference) have the honor of being their respective conference’s first-ever top-10 recipients.
New in 2019 is the announcement of two awards - Schutt Sports /NFCA Player of the Year and Schutt Sports / NFCA Pitcher of the Year. The respective winners will come from the top-10 list and will be voted on by the NFCA Division II All-American Committee.
The award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among softball student-athletes throughout Division II.
2018 – Kylee Smith, North Georgia
2017 – Coley Ries, Minnesota State
2016 – Lindsay Butler, Wayne State University
2015 – Courtney Poole, North Georgia
2019 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II Player of the Year Top 10
Emily Benson, Sr., First Base, Western Washington University
JoBi Heath, Sr., Third Base, University of Central Oklahoma
Sara Keeny, Sr., Outfield, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Allison Lipovsky, Sr., Pitcher, Grand Valley State University
Callie Nunes, So., Pitcher, Concordia University Irvine
MaKray Odom, Jr., Shortstop, Trevecca Nazarene University
Christa Reisinger, Sr., Outfield, Truman State University
Julia Seader, Sr., Catcher, Long Island University Post
Kylee Smith, Jr., Pitcher, University of North Georgia
AnnMarie Torres, Jr., First Base, Colorado Mesa University